VALUE-ADDING. The Department of Science and Technology in the Davao Region has reached out to communities with grassroots innovation to offer training that will improve their products. On Monday (Aug. 15, 2022), the agency says its most recent beneficiaries are the Tagakaolo weavers, who now know to fuse wrought iron to their nito fern merchandise for added value. (Photo courtesy of DOST-11)

DAVAO CITY — At least 10 members of the Tagakaolo weavers from Malita, Davao Occidental received training to incorporate their specialty woven nito fern products with wrought iron.

Dr. Anthony Sales, director of the Department of Science and Technology in Davao Region (DOST-11), said Monday the project aims to develop the group's “technopreneurial” capability and produce more styles in the craft.

The training, coursed through the Grassroots Innovation for Inclusive Development (GRIND) Project and the Provincial Science and Technology Center in Davao Occidental, focused on wrought iron welding to assist the grassroots innovation of the Tagakaolo weavers.

Wrought iron is a type of iron that can be bent into various attractive shapes used to make furniture such as bed frames, tables, garden benches and gates.

“These products for commercialization will generate additional income for the families in the community,” Sales said.

With the training, Sales said the Tagakaolo weavers, who bonded under the Talogoy Women's Association, can now produce unique and high-quality products for fashion, home decor, and housewares by integrating the nito (Lygodium circinatum) to the wrought iron.

Nito is a fern species whose stems are used for making hats, baskets and other products.

“By providing science and technology interventions to the identified grassroots innovations, the DOST-11's GRIND program shall strengthen the inclusive innovation ecosystem of the country and provide more flexible solutions for men and women of disadvantaged communities,” the DOST-11 said.

On May 31 this year, the DOST-11 also provided an abaca fiber stripping machine to the Golden Valley Abaca Farmers SLP Association (GOLVAFA) of Barangay Golden Valley, Mabini in Davao de Oro.

With the machine deployed in Davao de Oro, the abaca farmers have a more efficient and convenient process of stripping abaca fiber. (PNA)